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Samsung’s new 850 Evo blows away competitors with V-NAND, TurboCache

Looking to put a new solid state drive in your desktop or laptop this holiday season? You’re in luck, because Samsung has just announced its new 850 Evo hardware.

This new SSD combines Samsung’s 3-bit 3D Vertical NAND, or V-NAND, with its latest controller technology to build drives in 120GB, 250GB, 500GB and 1TB capacities. At launch all drives will be in the 2.5″ SATA form factor. You’ll have to wait until after the holidays to grab an mSATA or M.2 version. Read speeds are quoted at up to 540 megabytes per second and write speeds are up to 520MB/s.

The EVO lineup slots below the already released 850 Pro and is designed to offer strong performance at a lower price. Early reviews indicate that it’s successful in this goal, providing speeds similar to the Pro series overall. Of particular note is the speed of the smaller drives. In the past, SSDs with small capacities (such as 120GB) have often suffered a substantial performance penalty compared to their larger brethren. Samsung’s TurboCache, a feature first introduced by the preceding 840 Evo, largely solves this problem.

With that said, the smaller capacities are still relatively expensive, with 120GB models starting at $100. The 250GB version is $150, 500GB goes for $270 and 1TB goes for $500. That means, of course, that cost-per-gigabyte goes down as the size goes up; the largest drive is about 40% cheaper per gigabyte than the smallest. Sure, the Evo is less than the Pro, but it still doesn’t qualify as a budget option.

If you can afford it, Samsung’s new 850 Evo looks like a strong choice. Look for the drive to start appearing at retailers in the United States, Europe and Asia later this month.